Elementary Students Learn About Guatanamo Water Treatment

Story Number: NNS100212-13Release Date: 2/12/2010 12:16:00 PM
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By Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- Fourth and fifth grade students from W.T. Sampson Elementary visited the reverse osmosis plant aboard Naval Station Gauntanamo Bay, Cuba, Feb. 9.

The W.T. Sampson students have been learning about how electricity is generated and specifically how the naval station creates enough water to support the installation.

The students have been talking about machines and electrical circuits in science class so the fieldtrip was a good practical application of their lessons.

Naval Station Guantanamo Public Works Officer Cmdr. Wendy Halsey; Art Torley, production division director; Randy King, plant manager; and Lt. j.g. Jonathon Charfauros, assistant public works officer, led the students through plant operations.

Starting off in the reverse osmosis plant, the students were walked through the process of turning saltwater into potable water. Halsey demonstrated for the students how 10 gallons of saltwater is made into six gallons of potable water.

Torley explained some of the history about the plant and the base to ensure the students left the tour with a better understanding of how significant the resources on base are and how each individual effects consumption.

"Water and power are a necessity that we monitor closely," said Charfauros. "We track changes in consumption to ensure that we can provide enough to meet the requirements of every user on the installation. It is up to every individual to take the time to ensure his or her daily behaviors include water and power conservation. It is a commodity we all share and all need."

The students were exposed to the power control systems and how the base windmills interact with the power produced from fossil fuels.

The tour ended with a trip through the lab where the lab technician explained the quality control and assurance processes in place to guarantee the best quality of water to everyone on island.

"The W.T. Sampson students learned the importance of the plant to our daily lives and the importance of every contribution to conserve - from turning off the water while brushing your teeth, reporting leaks, turning off the lights and properly setting the air conditioning," said Charfauros. "These fourth and fifth graders are poised to help the installation succeed in extending the usability of our resources and ensuring everyone on the island's power and water needs are met."

"It is vitally important that children understand the impacts of energy usage on their immediate community and the world as a whole. If we can convince them of the importance of energy conservation, they will ultimately be better citizens," said Halsey.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/navfachq/.

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